|BMW 1-series M coupe (click to enlarge)|
Planned to get its first public airing at the Detroit auto show, the new two door’s task is to rekindle the driving magic created by the German car maker’s first ever M-car, the game changing E30 M3 launched in 1986. Loads to live up to, then! But with the highly acclaimed 135i coupe used as its base, BMW is confident the 1-series M coupe will make its presence felt in the compact performance car arena when it goes on sale in 2011.
The new BMW certainly looks the goods. With a deep new front bumper carrying industrial grade cooling ducts, a vertical body side crease and stylized M-logo incorporated into a repeater lamp within the front fenders, heavily flared wheel arches, chunkier sills underneath the doors, new mirrors, small trunk lid lip spoiler and edgier rear bumper – again with vertical vents, it is nothing but purposeful in appearance. Don’t go dreaming up wild paint schemes, though. Only three colors will be available: Alpine White non metallic, Sapphire Black metallic and the Valencia orange seen here.
Some perspective: with a kerb weight of 3296lb (1495kg), the new 1-series M coupe hauls 9.8lb for every bhp its engine produces (4.5kg/bhp). The 135i coupe has a more 10.6lb per bhp (4.8kg/bhp). A more telling comparison, however, is that of the larger and more expensive M3. Its naturally aspirated 4.0-litre V8 delivers 414bhp (309kW) , giving it a weight to power ratio of 8.4lb per bhp (3.8kg per bhp).
But while the 1-series M coupe can’t compete with its bigger brother on pure power, it possesses 38lb ft of torque (50Nm) more than the M3 and, crucially, it is developed 2400rpm earlier in the rev range at just 1500rpm. As a result, overall straightline performance is very similar.
The numbers? BMW quotes 0-62mph (100km/h) in 4.9sec, making the 1-series M coupe just 0.1sec slower than the M3 but 0.4sec faster than the 135i coupe up the strip. It’ll also hit 124mph (200km/h) in an impressive 17.3sec and run to a limited top speed of 155mph (250km/h). Combined consumption (on the European test cycle) is 24.5mpg (9.6L/100km).
Further details and all the official images after the jump . . .
There’s some big changes to the 135i coupe’s standard rear-wheel drive chassis, among them a host of new lightweight aluminium components for the front MacPherson strut and rear multi-link suspension as well as the adoption of hollow roll bars and new kinematic properties at each end. The new car’s road hugging stance is the result of widened tracks; the front goes up 71mm, while the rear is extended by 46mm. The ride height is also lowered by 20mm.
Within the bulging wheel arches are 19-inch wheels that share their design with those offered as part of the M3 Competition Package. They’re 9-inches wide at the front and 10-inches at the rear, wearing 245/35 and 265/35 profile rubber. The new wheels hide upgraded brakes running 360mm vented and drilled steel rotors up front and 350mm units at the rear. They’re the same stoppers used by the M3, with single piston floating calipers all round.
Inside, the 1-series M coupe retains the standard 135i coupe’s cabin architecture, including its dashboard and trims. However, it has been extensively reworked with new instrument graphics, M division multi-function steering wheel, a set of sport seats up front, a heavy splash of Alcantara and signature red stitching.
|Click to enlarge|